Cheaters never prosper, but they sure do proliferate like roaches. On July 4, a video (which Kotaku has reviewed but will not disclose) was released on YouTube announcing a new cheat that promises to work on “any” platform, including consoles.
The new cheat program has the typical anti-competitive features like auto-aim, auto-lock on, and the ability to detect which weapon a player is using to automatically reduce recoil. The hack is advertised with the Call of Duty franchise, but its creator says it will work for any game on any platform and promises it is undetectable by developers’ anti-cheat software.
The hack appears to use a sophisticated program, allegedly helped by machine learning, that takes gameplay video from a console via network streaming or capture card and feeds it into a nearby computer which then displays information the cheater can use.
Cheating is a widespread problem within multiplayer games. In February, Activision banned more than 60,000 accounts suspected of cheating in Call of Duty: Warzone and promised to improve its detection capabilities to further combat the threat. Other companies have taken a more novel approach to the problem like People Can Fly’s decision to isolate cheaters within their own matchmaking lobbies in Outriders and branding players’ HUD Scarlet Letter-style.
While cheating mostly takes place on PC, new technology allows illicit programs, like this one, to proliferate on consoles as well. Even mobile gaming has a cheating problem. Last week, PUBG Mobile banned a staggering 3.8 million players for character modding, x-ray vision hacks, and more.
Through donations and subscription fees, cheat makers can rake in millions of dollars in revenue to fund lavish lifestyles. In March, the BBC reported that Chinese authorities busted what it called the “world’s biggest” cheating ring that brought in sums of $76 million dollars. Through the sheer size of its international player base, Tencent-owned PUBG and PUBG Mobile seem to be the biggest target for cheaters.